Game Change

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Feature now the most beneficial vehicle for supplying critical information to educate consumers in the very places they are struggling to understand complex terms and complete required actions. It Takes True Partnership T Financial institutions must begin to intimately understand how consumers are making their way through the mortgage process. Not doing so directly correlates to poor customer loyalty, fewer word-of-mouth recommendations, and weak returns. Financial institutions able to leverage the desired consumer experience have the opportunity to strengthen consumers' perceptions of the enterprise as a whole, not just the mortgage arm. Remember, this goes both ways. Consumers who appreciate well-designed, feature-rich online and mobile capabilities on the retail banking side encounter the complete opposite on the lending side. This dichotomy is a gap that cannot remain over the long term. Knowledge Empowers A ccording to Foresee's research, consumers see very little difference between the kinds of experiences provided in emerging technologies like the Web and mobile. In fact, a recent study by Infosys shows that if bank A and bank B offer the exact same things, but bank B communicates what it offers, consumers are more likely to switch from bank A to bank B. What's challenging is that new technolo- gies are changing the methods banks use to communicate. An informal poll by eLynx of first-time homebuyers revealed that on average consumers are having two to three interactions with their financial institution during the mortgage process. Technology is reducing the number of traditional, in-person touchpoints that the financial institution has to foster a relationship with its consumers and educate them on the nuances of the mortgage process. What the CFPB has recognized is that because these technology solutions are where consumers are spending more of their time during the process, they ironically are echnology will never be able to replace the expertise of financial institution representatives, however. The importance of communication that works in tandem with automated services is critical to success. These types of proactive interactions with consumers can range from a simple message to alert the consumer to something being sent to actively walking the consumer through documents as they are received. An example of a best-in-class process is when financial institution representatives call their consumers as they are sending critical documents, checking to see if the consumer is near his or her computer. When this happens, the representative can be on the phone while the consumer first opens the document and is actively available to answer questions when they most often arise—that first interaction with a document. Consumers can often get stuck around some of the heavy concepts like consenting to receive documents electronically. Having an educated representative present for this first interaction can significantly streamline and aid the success of all future deliveries, as well how positive an experience the consumer will have. Absent some form of facilitation, successful electronic delivery averages about 48 percent, no better than the flip of a coin. But, when advance communication is designed into the experience, that rate goes up to 72 percent and can achieve 90 percent in best cases. These simple adjustments in processes can dramatically improve pull-through rates as well as shave days off the overall process. Actions such as these are actionable attempts The M Report | 25

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